Jennifer Laracy

I studied visual arts at Whitireia Community Polytechnic majoring in fine metals under the tutelage of Peter Deckers graduating in 2001.      I live in rural Taranaki with my husband and three children. I am over the moon to be presented with the opportunity be mentored by such an incredible Artist as Judy Darragh.

I saw the Judy Darragh exhibition,  So You…. Made It retrospective at Te Papa on my 24th birthday. Anyone who saw that show will remember it I’m sure. The overblown kitsch oozed with a subversive undercurrent and totally overcame the space. The experience had a visceral and lasting effect on me, awarding new value to the craft materials I had been exploring in my own practice.

I think I claimed an ancestral right as a woman over wool and plastic paint right then and there.

There was always something creative going on in my home growing up, so have naturally been guided towards life as a maker of things.  I generate ideas through sketching sometimes in a sort of stream of consciousness, At times my ideas and thinking are working at a faster pace than I can physically make.  My work often has many layers of meaning and am influenced by words phases and poetry. I revisit and rework these workbook ideas, experimenting with various materials to evolve them from 2D to 3D.

Uninterrupted making time was rare and longed for when my kids were little but working in these short bursts has helped shape my practice leading me to make small groups of works I think of as still life.

Jewellery and art making for me are about figuring things out, a way of creating a bridge between the imagined and physical.                      I am interested in the interface between natural and manmade and the effect we make on our environment. This is reflected both in the materials I use and the themes I work with.

Through this mentorship, I hope to gain a better understanding of my own relationship with ‘process’ and the importance of it in my practice. The Handshake project offers an undeniable opportunity develop, navigate and engage with the evolving contemporary jewellery landscape.

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